@dolapoaina: Self-development skills to learn from a diplomat

by Dolapo Aina

Young professionals, if they really want to inherit the leadership and lead in dignity, they shall first have their feet on the ground, think locally and act globally and add up all the self development issues cited above without removing an iota. 

Diplomats are representatives of their respective presidents in any nation. With the years, I have spent interacting with diplomats; an outsider would misconstrue these individuals as an elitist group. I dare say, not so. You see, diplomats are some of the most open-minded, welcoming people you would find globally. They might seem aloof but they are a welcoming breed of technocrats.

In a world where people are too self-centred; invariably, interactions with other people could be a bit or becomes a bit cumbersome but not for diplomats, who keep on making inroads and successes in their official posts of assignments. For this piece, I solicited the counsel of a seasoned African diplomat. These are the self-development skills of diplomats that can be utilised in our various professions.

GOOD DRESS SENSE

Have a good dress sense. Have you seen any diplomat (male or female) who isn’t a dapper diplomat either in Western or traditional clothes? Always dress for success like a dapper diplomat. Dress the way you want to be addressed. This writer had to add this; for diplomats are always well-dressed.

GOOD COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS

From a seasoned diplomat’s perspective the Rwandan Ambassador to Russia Dr. Mujawamariya Jeanne d’Arc informed this writer that the development of communication skills is vital to self development. She opined that “one has to develop her/his communication skills, especially because we, many of the time go into negotiations on all corners of life with different peoples. When you develop good communications tact, it may help you in improving relationship with other peoples and it may lead to mutual respects and admiration which in turn can bring you successful outcomes.”

BE OBSERVANT AND ATTENTIVE

According to the diplomat; “this profession has taught me to be more attentive than before, (although, having worked with HE the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame as one of his cabinet member for 8 years, you have no reason not to be attentive to even small things, community empathy should come naturally if you want to help your peoples to upgrade the level of their lives).”

BE METICULOUS AND STRATEGIC

On the being meticulous and strategic, the diplomat stated that “in diplomacy I have learned more how to be assertive and very much analytical. In diplomacy one learns the use of the “What-How-When”; what to say (or how to make your point), how to say it and the appropriate time without damaging the relationship or making an enemy.”

BE POLITE

Kings, Queens, tycoons, oligarchs; the haves and the have-nots even egotistical tyrants appreciate people who are polite. The Ambassador stated that “in diplomacy, one has to be polite, and I think politicians too have to be polite. Your politeness may not be noticed by others, it does not matter; but rudeness and reckless behaviour can not be hidden.”

HUMILITY

One of a diplomat’s goals is to interact and attract businesses to his or her country. If one isn’t humble; no one would be genuinely interested in talking to him/her (be you a diplomat, craftsman, banker or vendor). Let alone discussing business opportunities. The seasoned Rwandan diplomat stationed in Russia opined that “in diplomacy when you develop all these above characters and you add up humility, you really become a charismatic diplomat, and I think politicians too should be charismatic.”

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE OF LOCAL ISSUES

Think locally but act globally at all times. This can only be achieved by reading anything of interest and being open to different perspectives of issues. Global perspectives of local issues would always make one stand out. The Rwandan Ambassador stated that “young professionals, if they really want to inherit the leadership and lead in dignity, they shall first have their feet on the ground, think locally and act globally and add up all the self development issues cited above without removing an iota.” 

Special Thanks to Dr. Mujawamariya Jeanne d’Arc; Ambassador of Rwanda to the Russian Federation.

Dolapo Aina,

www.dolapoaina.com

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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